New Safe Ride App Offers an Easier and Safer Option for Students to Get Home

Heard of Safe Ride, but aren’t quite sure what it is or how to use it? Here’s what to do and expect when you’re using Safe Ride.

Safe Ride is a service offered by Northwestern to provide free rides to students from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. during the academic year. Operated by the University and student drivers, it’s a convenient way to save time and money when you’re in Safe Ride’s coverage area. Safe Ride makes it easy to get a ride and get home, especially when it’s dark, cold, or a combination of the two.

Using the Safe Ride app is a breeze if you follow these simple steps. Accessing the app is pretty simple after the initial setup:

  1. Download the TransLoc Rider app on Android or iPhone and select Northwestern University from the transit system list.

  2. Select the blue icon on the bottom left hand side of the map that should pop up.

  3. Now here’s where it gets tricky: the TransLoc app will ask you to create an account. Do not create an account. Select the option to sign in with your university instead and login using your NetID and password.

  4. The app will prompt you to create an account again, and here is the only time you actually have to fill in account information.

  5. Once you finish creating an account, select Northwestern University again and get ready to grab a ride!

For visuals along with setup instructions, visit the TransLoc How to Guide.

Getting a ride is simple as long as you plan ahead and know what to expect. After setting up your account, calling a ride is as easy as tapping the blue rider icon at the bottom and entering pickup and drop off locations. Remember to take wait times into account when planning your ride. Passenger counts can reach 450 on busy nights like Friday and Saturday, and with a limited amount of drivers, don’t expect Safe Ride to be as quick as other services. Wait times range from five to 30 minutes on really busy days, but the nightly average wait time is around 15 minutes. That means that if you have a meeting at 9:00 p.m. at the Garage, you probably shouldn’t call a Safe Ride at 8:50 p.m. and expect to get there on time.

Please note: For all rides to be completed by 3:00 am new rides may not be accepted after 2:20 am

Safe Ride’s new app makes it easier for you to arrange rides. The new app is all self-service that allows you to arrange pickup times and drop offs, even canceling rides, at your own convenience. Part of the app’s job is to find the closest ride for you, and its accuracy is continuing to develop over time. Whether you’ve noticed it or not, the new app is a big part of the reason why wait times have gone down from previous years.

Safe Ride is a breeze as long as you plan ahead. With a simple app, no cost, and Northwestern-specific routes, you can be a Safe Ride pro in no time at all.